Editor's Report

By Tom Hale | September 28, 2010

American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) recently held a briefing in Chicago to discuss several transportation issues, including President Bush's 2008 transportation budget; an overview of the federal transportation construction market; and the political obstacles relating to the next federal highway/transit investment bill in 2009. In addition, ARTBA discussed its new vision for the nation's transportation system, what they are calling "Critical Commerce Corridors."

Speakers included ARTBA president and CEO Pete Ruane, ARTBA senior vice president of government relations Dave Bauer, and ARTBA vice president of economics and research Dr. Bill Buechner.

Tarlton Wins Build America Award

Tarlton Corp., a St. Louis-based general contracting and construction management firm, won one of the construction industry's highest honors — the 2007 Aon Build America Award — for work on the Cross County MetroLink Expansion Facilities 1 project in metropolitan St. Louis. The award was presented March 23 in San Antonio, Texas, at Associated General Contractors of America's convention.

The association's Build America Awards are sponsored by Aon Construction Services Group "to recognize the highest achievements in construction for state-of-the-art advancement, project management, innovations in construction techniques or materials, safety record, client service, community relations, and environmental sensitivity."

The $676-million Cross County MetroLink Expansion project is one of the largest publicly funded projects ever undertaken in the St. Louis region. The multi-phase expansion provides MetroLink customers with an 8-mile-long, light rail connecting downtown St. Louis to southwest suburban areas. Tarlton Corp. was awarded the critical first phase of the expansion project, a 2-mile rail segment phase along Forest Park Parkway from the Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station to Kingsland Avenue.

Tarlton also received a 2006 American Concrete Institute (Missouri Chapter) Special Award for its work on MetroLink Expansion Facilities 1.

West Virginia Show

Each year the West Virginia Equipment, Technology & Design Exposition attracts thousands of individuals from across the country to Charleston, and this year's event was no different. The 28th annual show, held March 21–22 at the Charleston Civic Center, featured a lineup of numerous seminars and meetings and hundreds of exhibit booths.

The show was sponsored by Contractors Association of West Virginia, West Virginia Utility Contractors Association, West Virginia Society of Professional Engineers, and the American Institute — West Virginia, with the support of 20 co-sponsors.

Restore 64

In an upcoming, fast-paced construction project, repairs will be made to Interstate 64 along Louisville's riverfront. According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the interstate will close to through-traffic for 30 days starting July 5 and ending Aug. 5. By closing the interstate, repairs can be made in less than half the time of traditional construction.

Throughout the 30-day closure period, westbound traffic from 3rd Street to the 22nd St. interchange will be restricted. However, exits to many downtown streets will be accessible via 3rd Street ramps from I-64. Construction crews will work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to make repairs.

The Restore 64 project includes replacing 21 lane miles with new riding surface, replacing 132 expansion joints, repairing structural steel components, replacing overhead signs, and replacing protective guardrail.

IAAP Honored

The Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers (IAAP) has been honored by the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association as NSSGA's State Association of the Year for 2006. "The Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers has demonstrated strong leadership in promoting the interests of the aggregates industry in Illinois, as well as for operations in Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, and Wisconsin," said NSSGA President and CEO Joy Wilson.

IAAP represents owners and operators of stone quarries, sand and gravel pits, and recycling facilities that produce construction aggregates.

Route 35 Design-Build Project

In a March 14th West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOH) letting, Kokosing Construction Co., Columbus, Ohio — with a bid of $73.8 million — was the low bidder for the Route 35 design-build project. This project marks the first major use of this method of project delivery by the WVDOH.

According to state officials, the 6.3-mile project will upgrade a busy section of Route 35 in Putnam County to four lanes.